Spanish Meatballs (Albóndigas en salsa)

Spanish Meatballs

Spanish Meatballs

Spanish meatballs are a feel-good classic dish that will be a hit with any age group. Serve on cocktail sticks as a tapa, with the sauce on the side for dipping, or pile onto a plate with roasted potatoes for a delicious Sunday lunch, Spanish style.
These tasty Spanish meatballs are flavoured (and coloured) with garlic, parsley, paprika and saffron, which set them apart from your standard meatball. Sevi’s family recipe (there is always a recipe for albondigas in every Spanish family!) uses minced pork, but why not try turkey or chicken for a lighter option? Top tip – try and find pan rallado (Spanish breadcrumbs) as these are far finer than even panko breadcrumbs and will make your meatballs silky smooth. Alternatively, you could always pop your standard breadcrumbs in the food processor and blend until they have a sandy texture.

Spanish meatballs ingredients

Ingredients (serves 4)

500g minced pork
3 eggs
120g fine breadcrumbs (these Spanish ones are the best!)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves of minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for frying (don’t use your best extra-virgin oil for this!)

1 large onion
1 green pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp paprika (sweet, spicy or smoked – your choice!)
a small pinch of saffron
1 litre of chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste


1. Mix all the meatball ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for several hours (ideally overnight) in the fridge.

2. Use a tablespoon to scoop small amounts of the meatball mixture and roll them in your hands to form balls. Cover the bottom of a large saucepan with around 1 cm olive oil. Heat the oil over a medium flame until hot. Fry your meatballs in batches in the oil for around a minute on each side. When golden brown, remove the meatballs from the pan and leave to drain on kitchen roll. The meatballs will finish cooking in the sauce, so don’t worry if they are still raw in the centre.

3. To make the sauce, finely chop the onion, green pepper and garlic and place in a saucepan with all other sauce ingredients. Cook on a high heat for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender. Then, return the sauce to the saucepan along with the meatballs. Cook for a further ten minutes on a high heat. Serve with potatoes or as a tapa!

Have you ever tried Spanish meatballs? Do you have a family albóndigas recipe? Let us know in the comments below.

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